Exclusive first look at the Moria expansion for Lord of the Rings RPG and D&D

Exclusive first look at the Moria expansion for Lord of the Rings RPG and D&D

Artwork of sculpted pillars alongside a cave troll attack in Moria - Through the Doors of Durin

(Image credit: Free League)

Gandalf may have feared to go into those mines, but we’re chancing it with an exclusive first look at the upcoming Moria expansion for Lord of the Rings RPG The One Ring, along with its D&D equivalent (The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying).

Due to launch on Kickstarter at 9am EDT this August 30, you can see everything that’s included within the Moria campaign (which seems to have been renamed from ‘The Long Dark’ to ‘Moria – Through the Doors of Durin’) below. You can also get a sneak–peek of the interior art that’ll appear in both The One Ring version of the book and its D&D counterpart, which will be called ‘Moria – Shadow of Khazad-dum.’

Essentially, the Kickstarter campaign has a pretty big incentive for players to get involved. Besides early access to the PDF version of the book as soon as the campaign is over, you’ll be able to pledge for a collector’s or deluxe edition that aren’t going to be available anywhere else. Both come bound in faux leather with silver foil-stamped adornments, and the deluxe one has a cloth map of Moria to go with an exclusive art print by John Howe (an artist renowned for his Middle-earth artwork and time as a concept artist on the Lord of the Rings film trilogy).

While we’re on the subject of illustrations, here’s a selection from the book itself.

Interior artwork from Moria - Through the Doors of Durin

(Image credit: Free League)

As for what can be found inside the Moria sourcebooks, the Kickstarter dishes the dirt – alongside some patrons who will help you adventure throughout Khazad-dum, it’s packing rules that flesh out journeys in the long dark of the dwarven realm. Naturally, we’re getting plenty of new foes as well… including the infamous Balrog. To cap it off nicely, ‘Mansions of the Dwarves’ gives players a list of locations within the underground city for fellowships to visit (handy if you’re planning to dream up your own quests).

No matter what, it looks like it’ll be well worth a read. As pointed out in our The One Ring Starter Set review, we’re big fans of the game; it’s an excellent translation of Tolkien’s work and perfectly captures what Middle-earth is all about. With that in mind, I’m intrigued to see how this expansion handles one of the saga’s best-known locations – one we’ve only seen snippets of in the past. 

We’ll get the full lowdown when the book joins the best tabletop RPGs on shelves sometime later this year, but in the meantime, you can get an early look at what’s included in the Kickstarter below.

Moria Kickstarter campaign

Moria - Through the Doors of Durin Kickstarter artwork

(Image credit: Free League)

“For long ages, the great city of the Dwarrowdelf was the seat of Dwarven kings, and they were rich beyond measure in gold and Mithril. But a thousand years ago, Durin’s Bane arose and drove the Dwarves from their halls. The city fell into darkness, becoming an abode of Orcs, Goblins – and worse.

“Countless Orcs perished in the Battle of Five Armies. Maybe the Halls of Durin lie empty once more. Maybe there are piles of treasure there, waiting to be claimed. Maybe Mithril still glimmers in the mines under Caradhras. Cross the dread threshold, adventurer, and delve deep!

“Moria – Through the Doors of Durin and Moria – Shadow of Khazad-dûm are beautifully illustrated by Antonio De Luca, Giuditta Betti, Federica Costantini, Michele Galavotti, and Niklas Brandt. These hardback volumes will be printed on top quality paper, and, if stretch goals are unlocked, will include a separate Moria map, book ribbons, and more.”

Book contents

Moria - Through the Doors of Durin and Moria - Shadow of Khazad-dum covers

(Image credit: Free League)

“Moria – Through the Doors of Durin, written by seasoned game writer and author Gareth Hanrahan and overseen by Francesco Nepitello, is the biggest expansion yet for The One Ring. Some of the contents:

“Moria – Through the Doors of Durin describes the city of the Dwarves and the surrounding lands as they were in the last years of the Third Age. For each region of Moria, we describe Landmarks, factions and non-player characters that the Loremaster can use as desired.

“There is no ‘true’ Moria — in one game, maybe the great quest of the heroes is to loot the fabled Treasure Vault of Uruktharbun. In another, the treasure vault might have lain broken and empty for a thousand years; in another, it never existed at all. Moria is to be explored cautiously; even the Wise cannot trust their memories in this place.”

Collector’s editions

“Following the example of the unique Collector’s Edition of The One Ring™, we’re delighted to offer the same for Moria – Through the Doors of Durin and Moria – Shadow of Khazad-dûm. These deluxe volumes are bound in faux leather with silver foil-stamped adornments. The Collector’s Editions are exclusive to this Kickstarter and will never be printed again.”

Deluxe editions

“If you want to go all-in on the Moria experience, the Deluxe Bundle reward offers your choice of Collector’s Edition, the large Moria cloth map (format 100 x 65 cm), and an exclusive art print (format 216 mm x 279 mm) by John Howe, one of the chief conceptual designers for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.”

Pledge bonus

“If you pledge within 24 hours of the launch — i.e. no later than 3:00 p.m. CET (9:00 a.m. US Eastern) on August 30, you get a unique bonus art print (format 279 mm × 216 mm) of one of the cover art pieces – you will be able to choose which of the two you want in the pledge manager after the Kickstarter ends. This only applies to pledge levels with physical rewards.”

Early access

Moria - Through the Doors of Durin page spreads

(Image credit: Free League)

“Soon after the Kickstarter ends, all backers will get early access to the PDF versions of the Moria™ – Through the Doors of Durin or Moria – Shadow of Khazad-dûm™ 5E, months ahead of the official release.”

To check out the full Kickstarter, hit this link from 9am EDT on August 30.

For more, check out our feature on how The One Ring and Lord of the Rings Roleplaying are the RPGs Tolkien fans have always wanted.

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As the site’s Tabletop & Merch Editor, you’ll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to lists of the very best Lego. I’ve also been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I’ve cooked up for my group’s next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

James Aiden, a 24-year-old wordsmith and dedicated gamer, brings a unique blend of storytelling and gaming expertise to the table. When he's not diving into the world of pixels and quests, you can find him crafting engaging narratives and exploring his love for RnB and fast cars. Join James on his journey of literary and gaming adventures. 📚🎮

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